Types of Mining
Surface Mining Vs. Subsurface Mining
Surface mining is Mining where instead of using tunnels the rock and soil above the mineral deposit is removed. the methods of Surface mining are Mountaintop removal, open pit mining, and strip mining. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_mining)
Subsurface Mining is the process of removing mineral deposits by digging a tunnel or shaft directly to the deposit. Methods of Sub-Surface Mining are Slope Mining, Shaft Mining, and Drift Mining. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining#Underground_mining)
Mountain top Removal
Mountain top removal is the process of using explosives to destroy the tops of mountains to reach the mineral deposits within the mountain, The excess sediment is put into the valleys around the mountain. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountaintop_removal_mining) Mountain top removal has caused the destruction of seven percent of Appalachian forest and the dumping of excess material in valleys has buried more than 1,200 miles of head water streams from 1985-2001. Also MTR can pollute lots of water, if the dams holding in toxic coal sludge fail it can release this toxic material into the environment, ruining drinking water. Along with the pollution, MTR also destroys one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, The Appalachian mountains. (http://ilovemountains.org/resources)
Strip Mining is The process of using machines to remove a large strip of overburden (soil and rocks) to reach the mineral deposits beneath. Strip mining requires very large machines to move all of the overburden such as bucket wheel excavators which can move up to 96,000 cubic meters of soil in the average work day (8 hours). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_mining#Strip_mining) Strip mining's largest environmental impact is that it destroys large amounts of animal habitats. Not only this, strip mining destroys all foliage causing lots of erosion where the sediments end up polluting streams and harming wildlife, and sometimes causing flooding. (http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/coal/Mining-impacts/)
Bucket wheel excavator
Bucket wheel excavator
Open Pit Mining
Open pit Mining is the process of excavating a large pit to extract minerals underneath material that would be unsafe to tunnel through. open pit mines are excavated at an incline forming stair like walls, this is to reduce the chance of falling rocks.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-pit_mining) Open pit mining can be harmful to the environment, when the rocks that have been covered for a long time are uncovered they can release toxic and radioactive dusts. (http://web.mit.edu/12.000/www/m2016/finalwebsite/problems/mining.html)
Slope mining is a method to mine minerals where a sloped mineshaft is built towards the mineral using conveyors belts or trucks to extract minerals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slope_mining) Slope mining has little environmental impact except that some old abandoned mines can leak toxic chemicals into groundwater making it poisonous. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Mining
What is Fracking?
Fracking, or Hydraulic Fracturing, is a way to extract natural gas by fracturing shale with high pressure liquid and drilling.
How Does Fracking Work?
First Water is brought to the site, where it is combined with other chemicals and sand to make Fracking fluid. Next, the Fracking fluid is pumped into the well. When the fluid reaches the bottom of the well, the pressure causes nearby shale to crack, releasing Natural gas into the well.
Fracking is a very dangerous method, the fracking fluid which contains many toxins including lead, uranium, formaldehyde, mercury and more. The chemicals in the luid make it very dangerous, but despite this the chemicals are released into the ground with no way to remove them, polluting ground water. and the fluid that is removed , if evaporated can lead to acid rain and ground level ozone.